Nike/US Lacrosse West Region Report
by Todd Karpovich | LaxMagazine.com
Top PerformersJake Kennedy, Torrey Pines (Calif.)
Kennedy had 12 saves as the Falcons avenged an earlier season loss to rival La Costa Canyon with a 4-3 victory. Kennedy will play in college at Bucknell
Blake Knobloch, Regis Jesuit (Colo.)
Knobloch scored the game-winning goal with three second left to lift Regis Jesuit to a 7-6 victory over Mullen (Colo.). Knobloch has 29 goals on the season and leads the Raiders into the semifinals against defending champion Arapahoe (Colo.).
Ryan Harnisch, St Margaret's (Calif.)
The Denver commit went 20-for-23 on faceoffs in a 12-8 victory over Corona del Mar (Calif.) for the Orange County championship. He then went 22-for-26 in a 15-8 victory over Harvard-Westlake (Calif.) in the US Lacrosse CIF Southern-Section championship.
Games to Watch
Eastside Catholic (Wash.) at Skyline (Wash) – May 14
The Crusaders enter the game 10-2 and can clinch the Metro Conference championship with a victory. Skyline (11-7) is looking to build some momentum heading into the state playoffs.
Arapahoe (Colo.) vs. Regis Jesuit (Colo.) – May 18
Arapahoe looks to take a big step in defending its state title with a semifinal game against a tough Regis Jesuit team. Arapahoe aims to win its fourth state title in six years. Regis Jesuit won its only state championship in 2011.
1. St. Ignatius Prep (Calif.), 21-1
Season Complete: St. Ignatius represented West Coast lacrosse well by participating in the Konica Minolta Big City Classic at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., where they knocked off Seton Hall Prep (N.J.) in overtime. The Wildcats only loss this season was to Chaminade (N.Y.), currently ranked 11th in the Nike/US Lacrosse National High School Boys' Top 25 Poll.
2. Torrey Pines (Calif.), 17-3
Season Complete: The Falcons capped a remarkable season with a 7-5 victory over La Costa Canyon (Calif.) to win the San Diego Section Open Division championship. The teams split their regular season meetings.
3. Arapahoe (Colo.), 16-3
Season Complete: The Warriors defended their Colorado Class 5A state championship with a 10-7 victory over Cherry Creek. Arapahoe also won state titles in 2009 and 2012.
4. St. Margaret's Episcopal (Calif.), 21-4
Season Complete: The Tartans had one of their most successful seasons. First, they won the Orange County championship with a 12-8 victory over Corona del Mar. (Calif.) Then, St. Margaret's beat Harvard-Westlake (Calif.) for the US Lacrosse CIF Southern-Section championship.
5. La Costa Canyon (Calif.), 18-4
Season Complete:The Mavericks fell short of a sixth Division I championship by losing to Torrey Pines in the final. La Costa Canyon still had another solid season and defeated Torrey Pines in the regular season.
6. Bellevue (Wash.), 19-2
The Wolverines play Eastside Catholic (Wash.) in the semifinals of the Washington Lacrosse Boys State Championship Tournament on May 29. Bellevue is riding a 10-game winning streak and has yet to lose to an in-state opponent.
7. Cherry Creek (Colo.), 13-6
Season Complete:The Bruins fell short in their quest for a state title by losing to defending champion Arapahoe. Cherry Creek entered the tourney as the No. 1 seed and returns a solid core of players to make a deep run next season.
7. Redwood (Calif.), 20-6
Season Complete:The Giants beat Novato (Calif.) 13-7 to win the North Coast Division I championship. Redwood is the first team from Marin County to win the title.
8. Corona del Mar (Calif.), 18-3
Season Complete:The Sea Kings lost 12-7 to St. Margaret's Episcopal (Calif.) for the Orange County championship. Nonetheless, Corona del Mar continues to be one of the top programs on the West Coast and reload for next season.
9. Cathedral Catholic (Calif.), 19-3
Season Complete: The Dons lost to La Costa Canton in the semifinals of the CIF San Diego Section Open Division playoffs. The loss snapped a 16-game winning streak and Cathedral Catholic has the talent for another run next season.
10. Regis Jesuit (Colo.), 13-6
Season Complete: The Raiders advanced to the Colorado state semifinals where they lost to eventual champion Arapahoe. Regis Jesuit had a stellar season and will be back in the hunt in 2014.
News and notes
Lucky No. 7
As the defending state champion, Arapahoe was not pleased entering this year's state playoffs as the No. 7 seed.
The Warriors used that as motivation as they tore through the tournament and won their third state title since 2009 with a 10-7 victory over top-seeded Cherry Creek in the final.
"I would definitely say my Warriors felt like they did not belong in the seventh seed and had a proverbial chip on their shoulders," Arapahoe coach Guy Cerasoli said. "They learned that they needed to play sound, fundamental defense while striving to capitalize on every opportunity gained offensively from the three losses in the regular season."
Michael Babb led the Arapahoe offense with three goals and three assists. The Warriors were also stellar defensively and did not allow any more than nine goals in all but one game this season. Goalie Ryan Smith (Carthage College) lost only three games in two seasons as the starter.
"Ground balls may win games, but as the saying goes, defense wins championships," Cerasoli said. "Our long poles were equal all offensive onslaughts, allowing 10 goals to be scored on them only once the whole 2013 campaign, and our top short stick defensive midfielder Peter Neenan (Colorado State University), I think, has an argument for MVP of the State Championship Game, if not the tournament."
Once more for the title
When the playoff brackets for the San Diego Section Open Division championship were revealed, it became fairly obvious that Torrey Pines and La Costa Canyon were on a collision for another championship matchup.
The seedings held true as top-seeded Torrey Pines knocked off rival and second-seeded La Costa Canyon 7-5 in the title game. The Falcons have won six section titles in the past 12 years – one better than La Costa Canyon.
The teams split their regular season games and Torrey Pines avenged a loss to La Costa Canyon in last year's title game.
Note: The Nike/US Lacrosse Regional rankings will not necessarily reflect the same order as the Nike/US Lacrosse National Top 25 poll, which is voted on by US Lacrosse area representatives and Lacrosse Magazine contributors, who compile the regional rankings.